Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
– Djokovic gets reprieve –
Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic wins a temporary reprieve in his deportation from Australia, where he has failed to meet stringent pandemic entry requirements. The vaccine-sceptic Serb flew there to defend his Australian Open crown.
– Africa passes 10 million cases –
The number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Africa passed 10 million on Thursday, according to an AFP tally of official figures.
The continent has recently seen its highest level of infections, with an average of 44,457 cases per day between December 29 and January 4 topping the previous record of 41,857 seen in July 2021.
– China Olympics plans ‘strong’: WHO –
Beijing’s plans to ensure next month’s 2022 Winter Olympics go ahead safely during the pandemic are “very strict and very strong”, the World Health Organization says.
– Hong Kong minister quarantined –
A Hong Kong cabinet minister is sent to a quarantine camp after he was deemed a close contact of a preliminary coronavirus case at a large party attended by other government officials and lawmakers.
– Cruise chaos –
A series of coronavirus outbreaks have cropped up on cruise ships in North and South America, Europe and Asia despite strict health measures, giving new headaches to the pandemic-hit sector.
– Man City boss positive –
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola tests positive for Covid-19 as the Premier League champions say 21 players and staff are now isolating as the virus wreaks further havoc on English football.
Burnley also announces that manager Sean Dyche had been sidelined by the virus.
– ‘Arrest’ unvaccinated –
The Philippines’ tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte orders the arrest of unvaccinated people who violate stay-at-home orders.
– Israel eases travel ban –
Israel’s health ministry says that several countries including the United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates will be removed from a Covid “red list” of banned destinations despite a surge in the Omicron Covid variant.
– Austria toughens mask rules –
Austria’s government makes medical grade masks compulsory outside to ward off a new lockdown as Omicron variant cases of Covid-19 rise.
– Bolivia breaks record –
Bolivia registers a national record of more than 10,000 new cases, with half of the tests carried out in the country coming back positive.
– More than 5.4 million dead –
The coronavirus has killed at least 5,463,970 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Thursday.
The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 832,148, followed by Brazil with 619,513, India 482,876 and Russia 313,817.
Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the World Health Organization estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.